Earlier this year, I was kindly invited to speak at TEDx Porto and chose to share my thoughts on Elegant Business.
For some the idea of Elegant Business may conjure up smart business outfits, coiffured hair, fresh breath and well heeled shoes.
Elegance in how one dresses in business is not to be ignored. There is a fine balance to be found between the 'rules' of a certain culture or community in business and being yourself. However, the focus of my speech was elsewhere.
Elegance in Business can also be seen as the pursuit of better manners. Anyone who has suffered poor customer service or had to listen to a company boss promise one thing whilst receiving something quite different, may empathise here. A business that fails to treat their customers with respect and consideration, and there are many, is not an Elegant Business.
Given that many people have lost Trust in institutions and business - politics, banking, advertising to name three - going back to the basics of customer care would help a lot. However, once again the focus of my speech was elsewhere. My focus lay in the world of mathematics.
Like businesses, Mathemeticians are faced with hugely complex problems to surmount. They seek solutions that are long-lasting, constructive, effective, simple. They seek simplicity in complexity. It is what they call the search for an Elegant Solution.
Often it takes a left-field look at the problem to get there; fresh thinking; lateral thinking. One thing is certain though. An Elegant Solution is not necessarily simple to find.
Computer programmers seek Elegant Solutions too. The great programmers create something incredible using the simplest of code.
Business needs such elegance. And there is no better place to start than with marketing.
People (not customers/target audiences/segments/consumers/employees/staff) are supposed to be 'at the heart of the business'. People are faced with more choice in their lives, but also greater complexity. Yet rather than making life that little bit easier to navigate, brands often confuse and complicate matters.
Above is my speech at the TEDx Porto event earlier this year. In it I showcase where elegance can be found and give a few thoughts on what can be done to develop a culture of Elegance in Business.
If you are interested, I will also be sharing examples of Elegant Business on this blog over the coming months.